Several critics deem Chopin as one of the leading feminists of her age because she was willing to publish stories that dealt with women becoming self-governing, who stood up for themselves and novels that explored the difficulties that they faced during the time. Chopin scrutinized sole problems and was not frightened to suggest that women desired something that they were not normally permitted to have: independence. Chopin’s decision to focus on and emphasize the imbalances between the sexes is heavily influenced by her upbringing, her feelings towards society, and the era she subsisted in. How Chopin was raised and educated not only inspired her but it also assisted her wi... ... middle of paper ... ...sed her emotions and thoughts on life during the period. Authors like Chopin helped people realize what was going on during the 1800s.
Although these stories are dissimilar from each other, both show the struggle that women have against one or several antagonists in their lives. Chopin shows hardships through internal and external struggle within and family environment and within a personal environment. Whether the women depicted are escaping from their horrid lifestyle, or just plain escape from life, she is able to embody the hardships women face. Kate Chopin was a female writer whose radical viewpoints on life and sexism were not looked upon highly during her time period. In the late nineteenth century, she wrote and published her stories when it was custom for women to conduct themselves in a certain “womanly,” manner at all times.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Chopin was raised by her mother’s extended French family after her father’s death in a train accident. Her great grandmother expressed a special fascination with Kate’s advancement into womanhood and ensured that Kate understood “how women’s lives were split between responsibility and desire and the significance of women being independent” (Toth 13, 15). These lessons were not lost on Kate, and they materialize throughout her writing which focuses on the struggles of women in a world dominated by men. When The Awakening was being written, “the Feminist movement was just beginning, and many female authors were writing pieces about the improvement of women’s social conditions; however, unlike these women, Chopin did not limit her exploration of freedom to physical emancipation, but also intellectual autonomy” (Guernsey 46). It was this exploration of women’s independence which created turbulence in the literary community when The Awakening was published in 1899.
The writer has carefully introduced Zelda in the book to represent women of questionable morals in the society. Through her, the reader is in a position to learn the evolution and growth of liberty that women in the US have undergone in their quest to achieve modernity. Also, through CoCo Chanel, the designer, one gets to understand how a woman is able to use the talents and skills she has to liberate other women in society. Through her clothing and design techniques, she was able to shun traditional ways of a woman’s life and live a life which was more independent. She stayed away from the old root, Victorian ideology.
The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, is a powerful piece of literature written at the tail end of the 19th century which defines the story of Edna Pontellier and her struggle for independence from her family. More specifically, Edna wishes to cast off the shackles of her marriage, and seeks to empower herself through attracting the attention of other men. Chopin’s novel was highly controversial at the time, seeing as a woman “awakening” and acting on her own against a man’s consent was unheard of, but her proud brand of self righteousness is what has made women equal citizens today. This change within her had opened her eyes to the injustices of her life, and she wished to start anew. Through lavish language, captivating reasoning, and a tone grounded in reality, Chopin succeeds in illustrating a world where women can act independently.
Feminist literature is a broad term politically describing the role of women, and how they came to be activists in their pursuit of liberal freedom. The term feminism has been around for years, correlating with the movement of women’s aptitude to find a way in life and basically as in “The Awakening” such as Edna did, a voice. “Feminism is a belief that women should fight for their equal rights, powers and opportunities as men do,” (Cambridge Dictionary). The antagonistic nature of the women in the Victorian period was to bring many changes in their lifestyle, and not follow the norm of the traditions and values in that time. This burning desire, to become free, emancipated, liberal, and to be able to speak freely of their thoughts was unsettling to many, and this resulted in several feminist movements, one being the Seneca Falls Convention which was the revolution of Women’s Conferences which then lead to female independence.
A lofty character was necessary in completing the demanding tasks surrounding the home life. Images of women ranging from newspapers to fine art all displayed the univ... ... middle of paper ... ...e of women defined nineteenth century womanhood, as they refused the cultural norms that previously defined them. Photos of women displayed doing work in the clerical field, wearing voluminous trousers with short skirts, smoking cigarettes, and enjoying social outings empowered conservative women to follow who may have originally rejected these new values. For most, these new symbols were the representation of the ultimate social and political emancipation for women. Images of women throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries have both shaped women’s outlook on their lives in the workplace, at home, and in politics, and have also encouraged change for them as individuals.
Pursuing the New Life Women of the 1800s struggled through life, and fought for the same rights that men had. They were often stuck in relationships that made them unhappy. Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening hoping to demonstrate the life of a woman searching for a new life. Chopin lived the life of a curious woman in the 1800s. Normally “… the role [of wifehood] has traditionally satisfied a woman’s love and for a feeling of belonging” (Skaggs, 2) but for Chopin, the circumstance was different.
Many writers have contributed to the idea of feminism by promoting heroines that defied the odds of a harsh society. Such a character can be found in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter which reveals the lack of respect that women received when they choose to act according to their desire, against the society. The Scarlet Letter provides an in depth analysis on women’s rights and their value in the society during the late 17th century. While Hawthorne was writing the novel, The Scarlet Letter, a feminism movement began to take root in American history which helped Hawthorne to be aware of the women’s movement for their rights and freedom. Hawthorne’s attitude toward women and being sexist demonstrates the fact that Hawthorne has feelings of aversion toward feminism and thus this identify him as a true feminist.
They had many restrictions placed on them and often weren’t even allowed to walk outside without proper accompaniment. Because the expectations placed on women were so rigid and absurd, some feminist authors from the time ridiculed these social standards in their writing. Famous novelist Jane Austen was known for satirizing many social customs of the Regency Period in her romantic fiction novels, placing a special emphasis on women’s rights. Pride and Prejudice in particular depicted protagonist Elizabeth Bennet as a smart, headstrong, free thinking individual who didn’t let negative outside forces sway her beliefs. In Pride and Prejudice, Austen challenges the social propriety and creates her own ideals for women through Elizabeth Bennet’s independence, intelligence, and stron... ... middle of paper ... ...stantly trying to be agreeable and passive and allowed her to speak her mind and act upon her values.